THE Mississippi State vs. Missouri Game Preview


Mississippi State will head north to play Missouri for the first time since they joined the SEC in 2012. Kickoff is set for 8:00 Central on ESPN Thursday Night Football.

Statistical Match-up

MSU rushing offense: 150 YPG (91st) vs. Mizzou rushing defense: 121 YPG (25th)

MSU passing offense: 296 YPG (21st) vs. Mizzou passing defense: 162 YPG (11th)

Mizzou rushing offense: 101 YPG (123rd) vs. MSU rushing defense: 162 YPG (63rd)

Missou passing offense: 177 YPG (108th) vs. MSU passing defense: 214 YPG (55th)


Well, the World Series is over. So the entire MLB Playoffs have transpired since Missouri last scored a touchdown. Not just an offensive touchdown but a touchdown of any kind.

  • 3 points vs. Vanderbilt
  • 6 points vs. Georgia
  • 3 points vs. Florida

Their last touchdown was scored against South Carolina on October 3rd when they won 24-10. The Tigers’ scoring offense is by far the worst in the SEC at 14.9 PPG, and they are 128th out of 128 nationally.


The Bulldogs haven’t had trouble scoring lately with a 44 point per game average during the previous three game home stand. But prior to that they averaged just 17.7 PPG in three SEC games and Missouri has one of the best defenses in the league.

But, you could certainly argue that Mizzou hasn’t faced anything near what Dak Prescott and MSU’s offense bring to the table. The Tigers played the 13th, 12th, 11th, 8th and 7th best scoring offenses in the SEC. Mississippi State is 3rd (9th vs. in-conference games only, however).


Before the season a lot of people including myself felt that John Hevesy would find a way to patch together a serviceable offensive line despite losing three starters. So far it’s been mixed results. The pass blocking has been pretty good but run blocking not so much. There’s been more missed assignments than usual but also some promise shown from younger players like Elgton Jenkins and Deion Calhoun.

Missouri’s defensive line is really good. They are 2nd in the SEC in tackles for loss and 3rd in sacks. Dan Mullen called their defensive ends “explosive” and the tackles are “really big and physical”, saying they can do everything well that makes a Mizzou perhaps the best defense in the SEC.


Thursday night games are pretty weird because they throw off your routine. But does it also neutralize the home team’s advantage? Some have argued that it does because the home team’s fans aren’t as into the game as they would be on a Saturday. Most likely they just left work early to come to the game so they haven’t been tailgating all day. Also the home team’s players were in class during the day instead of the usual Saturday game when the day is completely devoted to football.

I think it does help the home team a little bit, but it’s not too much. Perhaps it neutralized the night game atmosphere and turns it into more of an 11:00 feel. I remember two years ago when MSU hosted Kentucky on a Thursday night it just wasn’t the same feel as your typical Saturday SEC game….and ultimately fans left the game early due to work requirements on Friday despite the game still being in doubt.

The Bulldogs are a touchdown favorite in this game, and they should be able to win. If they don’t it would be pretty disappointing considering how badly Missouri is playing coming in and how well MSU is playing. Before this year this was a toss-up game, but things have certainly changed.

Win this game and State will hold bragging rights over the Tigers until 2020 when they come to Starkville. And it would be the 11th out of 13 SEC teams Dan Mullen has beat.